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England call-up for Lewis

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 May 2008 | UPDATED: 07:26 01 August 2010

Joe Lewis in his Norwich days.

Joe Lewis in his Norwich days.

Goalkeeper Joe Lewis this week spoke of his delight - and shock - at being called up by England coach Fabio Capello for his squad for the friendly against USA.

Goalkeeper Joe Lewis this week spoke of his delight - and shock - at being called up by England coach Fabio Capello for his squad for the friendly against USA.

Lewis stayed on the substitutes' bench during the 2-0 win over the USA on Wednesday, but is in the England squad to play Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.

The Peterborough United stopper, who moved to the London Road club from Norwich City for £400,000 in January, was at his father's house in Broome when he received a call from the FA on Friday evening.

Just 90 minutes later and the Norfolk-born 20-year-old was being whisked to Watford to join up with his new England team-mates before facing shots from the likes of Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard in training sessions.

“On Friday evening, I got a phone call at about twenty past six, just to say 'are you abroad or available to meet up with the squad?' I thought, 'well of course I am available',” Lewis said, about the moment he was summoned as Chris Kirkland was ruled out by injury and David James had concerns over a calf problem.

“An hour and a half later they'd sent a car to pick me up and take me to the hotel. I was in Broome in my dad's house so I only had an hour and half to have a shower and get my gear together and then it was off to Watford to meet with the squad.

“It all came as a bit of a shock. I sat in my hotel room that evening taking it all in and to let it sink in, but it's been brilliant.

“Saturday morning we trained and Saturday evening at 5pm we trained again and then we had another session (the next) morning.

“It's brilliant. I knew a few players from the U21s like Joe Hart, Tom Huddlestone and Gabby Agbonlahor and I knew Dean Ashton, Peter Crouch and David Bentley from when they were at Norwich.

“So there were quite a few familiar faces. It was brilliant training with some of the best players in the world let alone this country.”

Lewis made his England U21 debut in the victory against Wales earlier this month after starring with Posh in their promotion campaign from League Two, and earlier in the season on-loan at Morecombe from the Canaries.

It completes a memorable few months for Lewis who found himself out of the plans of City manager Glenn Roeder, but in the mind of Capello instead for the Wembley clash against the Americans on Wednesday night.

“He's fairly quiet and doesn't say a great deal,” Lewis said of Capello. “He says a few things in training and welcomed me to the squad. He's been very friendly and said 'if you need anything, just see a member of the staff'.

“I'm just delighted to be thought of and to be involved with them for the last few days has been brilliant. “

“I realise I've got play well for my club and my main short-term aim is to carry on playing well for Peterborough and move up League One. So I'm keeping my feet on the ground. If I keep playing well then you never know.”

Speculation in recent weeks has seen Lewis already linked with moves to the Premier League, with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, father of Posh boss Darren, and Liverpool scouts said to be keen on him.

For now, Lewis has been turning to his father, Mike, to help him stay grounded.

“My dad's been helping to keep my feet on the ground,” he said. He's very pleased and proud. It's good for him as well.”

But while Lewis was delighted to pull on his England training kit this weekend, he admitted he almost turned the call of Capello and the nation down - to play cricket for Bungay.

“I was due to be playing cricket this Saturday,” he said. “I almost turned down Mr Capello's offer because I had to open the bowling for Bungay!

“I play as much as I can in the summer. I don't think they'll forgive me!”

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